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Re: [GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS] Re: GPSMAP60CS Basemap

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  • Jon Biddell
    ... Given that all of the world doesn t have access to WAAS, like here in Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60 s against any of the Magellan offerings ?
    Message 1 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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      > I can get a WAAS locked-in "2m accuracy" in less than a minute from
      > cold with the 60C, in my basement, with few windows and lots of metal
      > "shielding". It is pretty amusing to walk around the house and go
      > upstairs and down and see my track. Couldn't do that with my last unit.
      >
      > So yes, this is a great unit, and IMO the best handheld one out there
      > now...that's why I bought it! :)

      Given that all of the world doesn't have access to WAAS, like here in
      Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60's against any of the Magellan
      offerings ?
    • brian sommerville
      Hi John Screen is clearer and sharper reception is not as good map detail is not as good, Metroguide vs DiscoverAus more features/screens/information USB
      Message 2 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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        Message
        Hi John
         
        Screen is clearer and sharper
        reception is not as good
        map detail is not as good, Metroguide vs DiscoverAus
        more features/screens/information
        USB interface is FAST
         
         
        cheers
        brian
        ph  02 9999 2313
        fax 02 9999 6716
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jon Biddell [mailto:jon@...]
        Sent: Monday, 1 March 2004 7:10 PM
        To: GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS] Re: GPSMAP60CS Basemap

        > I can get a WAAS locked-in "2m accuracy" in less than a minute from
        > cold with the 60C, in my basement, with few windows and lots of metal
        > "shielding". It is pretty amusing to walk around the house and go
        > upstairs and down and see my track. Couldn't do that with my last unit.
        >
        > So yes, this is a great unit, and IMO the best handheld one out there
        > now...that's why I bought it! :)

        Given that all of the world doesn't have access to WAAS, like here in
        Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60's against any of the Magellan
        offerings ?

      • sbrekkeus
        Jon, Don t fret about the lack of WAAS, the 60C works VERY well without it. (remember SA is off). I had the unit for a week, and was marveling at the accuracy
        Message 3 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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          Jon,

          Don't fret about the lack of WAAS, the 60C
          works VERY well without it. (remember SA is
          off). I had the unit for a week, and was
          marveling at the accuracy every day, before
          I realyzed that the WAAS was set to 'DISABLED'
          in the 60C's system setup page.

          Typical accuracy was about 4 meters 80 percent
          of the time without the WAAS enabled and often
          as good as 3 meter under ideal conditions.

          I would dissagree the comment that the 60C
          'reception is not as good', I think the 60C
          can hold it's own with any hand held GPS
          out there at this point.

          I can't comment on the Quality of the Maps available in Australia,
          but the only Magellan unit which I could see which matched the screen
          resolution of the Garmin 60C was the SporTrack Color and that unit
          has about half the overall map memory on board as the 60C.

          Magellan Maridian Color gets around the memory limits of the SporTrak
          by letting you use expandable SD memory cards (a really good feature)
          but the screen resolution is much lower than the GPSMAP60C (160x120
          for the Maridian vs. 240x160 for the GARMIN GPSMAP60C)

          The Garmin GPSMAP60C's screen is 'transreflective' and is crystal
          clear in full daylight. Magellan uses a somewhat older technology
          which is not quite as easy to read.

          From earlyer comments it sounds like Magellan may currently have
          an edge as far as map quality goes, in your region, and that may or
          may not be definitive for your decision, but it should be mentioned
          in passing that if you really need accurate custom maps, the Garmin
          map protocol has been hacked, and this has been used by a lot of
          enterprising folks outside the U.S. to create custom maps.

          Just do a web search on Mapdekode and/or GPS Trackmaker

          You can even find Mapdekode on Yahoo Groups at:

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mapdekode/

          Creating custom maps sounds like a lot of work, and I not sure
          most people would be interested, but I thought I would mention
          it just in case you are interested, because it's the ONLY way
          to build maps in some remote regions which can be downloaded
          into a hand held GPS. Not sure if the Magellan propritary map
          format has been hacked to allow custom maps on their units.

          In closing let me say that I did own a prior GPS from Magellan
          and never felt it lived up to it's specs, but it was a very very
          early model. From what I've seen more recently, Garmin and Magellan
          are neck and neck in the GPS race at this point, but I think that
          with the GPAMAP60C Garmin has taken the lead.

          Steve B.


          --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, Jon Biddell <jon@m...>
          wrote:
          > > I can get a WAAS locked-in "2m accuracy" in less than a minute
          from
          > > cold with the 60C, in my basement, with few windows and lots of
          metal
          > > "shielding". It is pretty amusing to walk around the house and go
          > > upstairs and down and see my track. Couldn't do that with my last
          unit.
          > >
          > > So yes, this is a great unit, and IMO the best handheld one out
          there
          > > now...that's why I bought it! :)
          >
          > Given that all of the world doesn't have access to WAAS, like here
          in
          > Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60's against any of the
          Magellan
          > offerings ?
        • cbottca
          Sorry, I can t directly compare. As you know, comparing GPS units is virtually impossible outside a lab because of varying satellite reception conditions,
          Message 4 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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            Sorry, I can't directly compare. As you know, comparing GPS units is
            virtually impossible outside a lab because of varying satellite
            reception conditions, unless you have all the units to test at the
            exact same time, and even then...

            I would buy based on who has the best maps for you. I imagine the
            available Garmin map situation for Australia is similar to that of
            Canada, based on my understanding (??) of how the population is spread
            out. I sure hope it isn't worse... Funnily enough, the parts of Canada
            where a GPS unit is most useful are not included in their maps, which
            wouldn't have to be exceptionally detailed because there's not much
            man-made there. In Canada you can easily drive 1000 miles to get to a
            significant city, it's certainly not like most of the rest of the
            world beyond the poles.

            Anyway, without WAAS on I have seen "3m accuracy" at the best and
            typically 4-6m so far. The way I see it, for "navigating", if you're
            10m away from something and still don't see it, I doubt GPS is gonna
            help much...

            --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, Jon Biddell <jon@m...> wrote:
            > Given that all of the world doesn't have access to WAAS, like here in
            > Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60's against any of the
            Magellan
            > offerings ?
          • Harlan Stockman
            I ve done a few side-by-side comparisons between a Magellan STP and the 60c. Here are a few: http://hwstock.org/gps/1/ http://hwstock.org/gps/2/
            Message 5 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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              I've done a few side-by-side comparisons between a Magellan STP and
              the 60c. Here are a few:

              http://hwstock.org/gps/1/
              http://hwstock.org/gps/2/
              http://hwstock.org/sf/GPS/ --this test was the most severe, and
              outlines one of the weaknesses with the 60c in _very_ rough terrain.

              --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, Jon Biddell <jon@m...>
              wrote:
              > Given that all of the world doesn't have access to WAAS, like here
              in
              > Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60's against any of the
              Magellan
              > offerings ?
            • cbottca
              Very nice!! So you re saying the averaging available in the 60C is not so great? You d think that they might be able to use a little more logic and determine
              Message 6 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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                Very nice!! So you're saying the "averaging" available in the 60C is
                not so great? You'd think that they might be able to use a little more
                logic and determine that that "first" pos fix was bogus and toss it
                (might need to know how you're moving to do that, similar to the
                car/ped/bike/etc. setup). I have read that some complain the Magellans
                average too much.

                My Magellan is older and not even close to comparable to the 60C, so I
                saved it the embarassment.
              • Harlan Stockman
                ... more ... I ve asked Garmin if they might consider a user option to adjust the sensitivity of the first fix. The problem seems typical of the rough
                Message 7 of 27 , Mar 1, 2004
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                  --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "cbottca" <cfraser@c...>
                  wrote:
                  > Very nice!! So you're saying the "averaging" available in the 60C is
                  > not so great? You'd think that they might be able to use a little
                  more
                  > logic and determine that that "first" pos fix was bogus and toss it

                  I've asked Garmin if they might consider a user option to adjust the
                  sensitivity of the first fix.

                  The problem seems typical of the rough territory I hike, but may not
                  be seen, at all, by folks who hike in more open country.
                • sbrekkeus
                  Very nice work, but I would caution against over interpreting the results. From your tracks it appears that Magellan was performing more filtering on the data
                  Message 8 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                    Very nice work, but I would caution against over interpreting the
                    results. From your tracks it appears that Magellan was performing
                    more filtering on the data and this would be like compairing two
                    hi-fi systems on with the treble control all the way up and one
                    with it all the way down. Under these conditions one reviewer
                    might decide in favor of one of the two stating that the other
                    "Had very weak high frequency response" another reviewer might
                    complain that the same system "had too much tape hiss" and decide
                    the mater the other way. The point of this is that 'optimum'
                    filtering of the raw positional data may be something that it
                    takes garmin some time to tweak. The 60C is still a fairly
                    new product, after all, and this can be improved in firmware.

                    It looks like Garmin just released it's second firmware release
                    so hopefully they will tweak their algorithms and also take your
                    suggestion about knocking out that initial 'low accuracy' point
                    from their track log. If I had to guess I would say that this
                    would be quite easy to do. My thought is that Garmin put a premium
                    on getting the first fix up on the screen as quickly as possible
                    (even if that fix is less accurate) and then didn't think to delay
                    the start of the track log a few seconds to let things settle down.
                    I personally like the idea of having a fast TTFF (Time To First Fix)
                    and think this was a good tradeoff, but it would probably be a good
                    idea to start the track a couple seconds later after the data has a
                    chance to settles down.

                    The other issue you raised about the 60C creating multiple tracks
                    is interesting. This is an area where the firmware should show some
                    common sense and try to maintain a single track if the lost signal
                    is recovered within a specified time and distance from the original
                    track. Maybe we are seeing an interaction with the 'wild first point'
                    behaivior you noted fooling the 'Track manager' part of the firmware
                    into believing that it should start another track. Kind of a case
                    where one problem triggers another.

                    Again this could be tweaked in the firmware, which brings up an
                    important point. This data must have been taken under the original
                    version 2.0 firmware on the 60C. Have you had a chance to do any
                    testing under version 3.0?

                    You comment about 'weakness' on the 60C is a little harsh. Both
                    GPS units seemed to have faired very closely. With the differences
                    mostly representing differences in the filtering. As you seemed to
                    acknowledge with your concluding comments.

                    "Otherwise, the 60c seems more accurate on the open ridges, and gives
                    a truer reflection of decisions made during the climb, than
                    the "constantly averaging" STP"

                    I hope anyone compairing these two units while considering a purchase
                    will actually read the data and not jump to any conclusions.

                    One last point . . .

                    I mentioned that the 60C is still a reletively new product, there
                    are bound to be further improvements in the firmware, and even
                    if this were not the case, the performance is pretty much neck and
                    neck, with Garmin simply electing to do a little less filtering.

                    Unfortunatly for Magellan they are not so close in other areas.

                    Look at this picture . . .

                    http://hwstock.org/gps/2/html/DSCN4973.htm

                    Everybody with me? Ok, good, I have a question.

                    Where do I 'download' the hardware screen "upgrade" for the
                    Magellan STP to make the STP screen on the right as sharp
                    and clear in daylight as the GPSMAP60C screen on the left?

                    The GPSMAP60C is indicating an altitude of [5830 ft.]

                    I would assert this is basically 1000% more 'accurate' than
                    the Magellans indicated altitude of [ ] (because if you
                    can read the unit on the right you are a better man than I).

                    Hint: Yes, the Magellan unit IS turned on folks . . .

                    Just Turn your monitor contrast way up, and look in the lower
                    right corner of the SporTrak's LCD and you will ALMOST be able
                    to kinda read something. Well, maybe.

                    Next to this, arguing about which track has more jigglies or who
                    lost sync for three seconds while you were dangling upside down
                    by your toenails kinda "pales" by comparison, doesn't it? ;)

                    Seriously, if someone is still shopping and wants to wait, I hear
                    from Magellan that they are planning to upgrade their screens
                    to 'transreflective' later in the year.

                    I also have no doubt that Garmin's already decent firmware will
                    further improve. The difference is that you can buy the GPSMAP60C
                    now, and download the new firmware improvements for free later
                    (they even supply the USB cable needed with the unit).

                    You can't "download" a new screen.

                    Think about it.

                    Steve B.


                    --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "Harlan Stockman"
                    <hwstockman@y...> wrote:
                    > I've done a few side-by-side comparisons between a Magellan STP and
                    > the 60c. Here are a few:
                    >
                    > http://hwstock.org/gps/1/
                    > http://hwstock.org/gps/2/
                    > http://hwstock.org/sf/GPS/ --this test was the most severe, and
                    > outlines one of the weaknesses with the 60c in _very_ rough terrain.
                    >
                    > --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, Jon Biddell <jon@m...>
                    > wrote:
                    > > Given that all of the world doesn't have access to WAAS, like
                    here
                    > in
                    > > Australia, how would you rate the Garmin 60's against any of the
                    > Magellan
                    > > offerings ?
                  • cpu_nut
                    I am sure Garmin is watching this closely, and I would bet that you have done the best thing to get your points across with the excellent data presentation. I
                    Message 9 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                      I am sure Garmin is watching this closely, and I would bet that you
                      have done the best thing to get your points across with the excellent
                      data presentation. I also agree with Steve about the high frequency
                      response analogy which helps in the understanding.

                      I have always bought Garmins because they seem very responsive to
                      customer input, and releasing SW upgrades. So just maybe they will
                      add some adjustments to the averaging, and maybe add a option to
                      start a new log or continue with the previous log etc. I am still
                      waiting for a 60CS so I cannot comment too deeply on the existing
                      options.

                      Off subject some.. My only real complaint about Garmin so far (many
                      years) is how they usually cripple their street products to have very
                      inflexible data fields. I know why they do this, but it still
                      irritates me :-)

                      Craig


                      --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "Harlan Stockman"
                      <hwstockman@y...> wrote:
                      > --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "cbottca"
                      <cfraser@c...>
                      > wrote:
                      > > Very nice!! So you're saying the "averaging" available in the 60C
                      is
                      > > not so great? You'd think that they might be able to use a little
                      > more
                      > > logic and determine that that "first" pos fix was bogus and toss
                      it
                      >
                      > I've asked Garmin if they might consider a user option to adjust
                      the
                      > sensitivity of the first fix.
                      >
                      > The problem seems typical of the rough territory I hike, but may
                      not
                      > be seen, at all, by folks who hike in more open country.
                    • cbottca
                      Unfortunately, the time to first fix is a very common benchmark when comparing GPS units, everybody asks about it (of course, in the old days some units were
                      Message 10 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                        Unfortunately, the time to first fix is a very common benchmark when
                        comparing GPS units, everybody asks about it (of course, in the old
                        days some units were VERY slow, so it was much more relevant then),
                        and it's something new users really notice in handheld units that may
                        not be powered on continuously. So there's a certain pressure on
                        Garmin to get something on the display, even if it's not too good.

                        Do you remember how you had your track log record method/interval set
                        up? Just wondering...the manual is very very uninformative on the vast
                        majority of options. They tell you what the options are, but not what
                        they really do and why you should choose one over the other. For
                        instance, what are the the frequencies and time/distance basis for the
                        track log? What the heck does "battery saver" actually do? I have so
                        many questions I can't even remember them all... And there is often
                        data displayed on the screen that the manual doesn't even mention.
                        Some of it is minor, I figured it out (like when "D"'s are displayed
                        on the satellite page), but what does the blue circle around my home
                        mean (no proximity set), etc. Little stuff like that...

                        Sure, make one manual user-friendly to not scare beginners, but this
                        is a sophisticated instrument and there should be a more technical
                        manual as I suspect this unit attracts those users who want to know.
                        Doesn't need to be fancy, just a detailed explanation of each option,
                        like a big appendix. GPS manuals used to have all this techy info so
                        you could use the unit properly.

                        [Sorry, the dumbing-down of everything these days is one of my pet
                        peeves...]
                      • Harlan Stockman
                        ... [...] Let me make the same caution to you. ... That picture was taken to show the relative positions of the two GPSRs on the pack, not to show the screen
                        Message 11 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                          --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "sbrekkeus"
                          <sbrekkeus@y...> wrote:
                          > Very nice work, but I would caution against over interpreting the
                          > results.
                          [...]
                          Let me make the same caution to you.

                          > Unfortunatly for Magellan they are not so close in other areas.
                          >
                          > Look at this picture . . .
                          >
                          > http://hwstock.org/gps/2/html/DSCN4973.htm
                          >
                          > Everybody with me? Ok, good, I have a question.
                          >
                          > Where do I 'download' the hardware screen "upgrade" for the
                          > Magellan STP to make the STP screen on the right as sharp
                          > and clear in daylight as the GPSMAP60C screen on the left?

                          That picture was taken to show the relative positions of the two
                          GPSRs on the pack, not to show the screen performance. Thus, please
                          NOTE:
                          1) I specifically oriented the 60c so it would be readable; if it
                          were not oriented with a small rocking angle, it was unreadable in
                          the viewfinder. I paid no attention to the orientation of the STP,
                          which was at an angle in the picture (you should be able to tell this
                          from the shadows in the photo).

                          2) I used a flash fill to highlight the 60c transreflective screen.

                          3) the STP is in its protective case with a vinyl window over the
                          screen. The STP screen is recessed several millimeters, which causes
                          unfavorable reflections off the screen when viewed from an angle. 60c
                          users will note they don't have the option of such a protective case,
                          because on extra layer of material, several mm out, would make the
                          transreflective screen even murkier. In the photo, you can probably
                          see the scratches acquired by my 60c, due to the lack of a protective
                          case.

                          I haven't compared the two in city driving; that isn't my bag. But
                          for me, in the last two months of hiking tests, the STP won hands
                          down for readability, even through the scratched vinyl case window.
                          Why? 1) The 60c track, at the time of these tests, was so faint it
                          was barely perceptable. 2) Because of the protective case, I feel
                          comfortable taking the STP off and reading it as I am walking, or
                          letting it stay "in harm's way" when climbing. If a GPS is safely
                          stowed on the back of your pack, the screen is not very readable.

                          The fix of the screen elevation bug is undoubtedly due to my
                          complaints to Garmin. Likewise, I hope they also take my suggestions
                          to heart about the active track readability, and an option for time
                          to first fix after a loss of sync.
                        • sbrekkeus
                          I had to laugh out loud when I read your post, because I was also wondering what the heck the battery saver does not even ten minutes before reading your
                          Message 12 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                            I had to laugh out loud when I read
                            your post, because I was also wondering
                            what the heck the 'battery saver' does
                            not even ten minutes before reading your
                            post. On most units it cycles up and
                            down the GPS circuits, cutting down the
                            number of fixes and the time resolution
                            of the track log, but saving batteries.
                            (but on this unit, who knows?)

                            I guess you already figured out that the little D's indicate that
                            (D)eferential corrections are available for the satellites indicated.

                            The little circle around the position arrow is sized to indicate the
                            accuracy of the current fix directly (a really neat feature), the
                            smaller the circle the better the accuracy of the fix, and your real
                            position should theoretically be somewhere inside the circle.

                            Did you know that the very basic calculator can be switched to
                            a fairly nice scientific calculator? Just open the calculator and
                            then use the 'menu' button to select the 'scientific' version.

                            I think that the wierd little lunar/solar-ephemeris/orrery on
                            the 'phases of the moon' page is supposed to let you figure tides
                            some how (but who knows?)

                            In fact the unit has a LOT of really neat features, some of which
                            might actually convince people to buy a 60C if anyone could explain
                            to them what the heck they do.

                            There is a past message from someone who called Garmin with what I
                            thought was some really good feedback. Not only was the technical
                            feedback ignored, but when the caller told the tech support person
                            that the manual seemed a might thin of detail, the support person
                            rebuffed him with the sarcastic reply that the manual would need
                            someting like 400 pages, if they explaned EVERYTHING.

                            Someone at Garmin needs to go through the call logs and fire that
                            idiot. Jobs are too tight now and there are too many good folks
                            looking for work, to allow that kind of jerk to goof up Garmin's
                            image with it's customers with comments like that. The good
                            news is that I have heard they did finally address the problem
                            (not enough digits in the elevation field) in firmware 3.0, but
                            there is still no excuse for giving someone a run-around about
                            the manual, because, truth be told, it could be a lot better.

                            The manual is colorfull, it is layed out in a straight forward manner,
                            but you are absolutly correct about there not being that much actual
                            information about the specific options.

                            The manual is a classic example of a manual written by a technical
                            writer who, unfortunatly, just didn't know that much about the unit,
                            and who therefore just glossed over, ignoored or left out a lot of
                            needed details. What is it they say "when in doubt, mumble".

                            Big manuals unfortunatly cost big money, not just to write but to
                            print and distribute with the unit. One compromise, which I think
                            would be good, would be to create a better HTML or PDF version and
                            make it available for download. They could call it the :

                            GPSMAP60C/GPSMAP60CS technical manual

                            or something similar to differentiate it from the current documents
                            which are refered to as the 'owners manual' and 'quick start'.

                            Steve B.

                            --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "cbottca" <cfraser@c...>
                            wrote:
                            > Unfortunately, the time to first fix is a very common benchmark when
                            > comparing GPS units, everybody asks about it (of course, in the old
                            > days some units were VERY slow, so it was much more relevant then),
                            > and it's something new users really notice in handheld units that
                            may
                            > not be powered on continuously. So there's a certain pressure on
                            > Garmin to get something on the display, even if it's not too good.
                            >
                            > Do you remember how you had your track log record method/interval
                            set
                            > up? Just wondering...the manual is very very uninformative on the
                            vast
                            > majority of options. They tell you what the options are, but not
                            what
                            > they really do and why you should choose one over the other. For
                            > instance, what are the the frequencies and time/distance basis for
                            the
                            > track log? What the heck does "battery saver" actually do? I have so
                            > many questions I can't even remember them all... And there is often
                            > data displayed on the screen that the manual doesn't even mention.
                            > Some of it is minor, I figured it out (like when "D"'s are displayed
                            > on the satellite page), but what does the blue circle around my home
                            > mean (no proximity set), etc. Little stuff like that...
                            >
                            > Sure, make one manual user-friendly to not scare beginners, but this
                            > is a sophisticated instrument and there should be a more technical
                            > manual as I suspect this unit attracts those users who want to know.
                            > Doesn't need to be fancy, just a detailed explanation of each
                            option,
                            > like a big appendix. GPS manuals used to have all this techy info so
                            > you could use the unit properly.
                            >
                            > [Sorry, the dumbing-down of everything these days is one of my pet
                            > peeves...]
                          • Harlan Stockman
                            ... Here: http://hwstock.org/gps/scrn/
                            Message 13 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                              --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "Harlan Stockman"
                              <hwstockman@y...> wrote:
                              > --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "sbrekkeus"
                              > <sbrekkeus@y...> wrote:
                              > > Very nice work, but I would caution against over interpreting the
                              > > results.
                              > [...]

                              Here:

                              http://hwstock.org/gps/scrn/
                            • sbrekkeus
                              You have raised some very good points, relative to the screens. I also looked at both units side by side (in a local sporting goods shop), and gave the edge to
                              Message 14 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                You have raised some very good points, relative to the screens.

                                I also looked at both units side by side (in a local sporting
                                goods shop), and gave the edge to the Garmin, though I must
                                admidt that I didn't take the SporTrak out of the case, and
                                the differences were not as dramatic as in your photo.

                                The SportTrack I saw in the sporting good store did look
                                pretty 'washed out' by compairison to the 60C in direct sun.

                                Could it be that the SporTrak was an earlier model with an
                                older screen? Obviously the 60C I looked at wasn't that old,
                                because they just hit the market, but has the SporTrak may have
                                been an early unit that they have had on hand for awile.

                                Has the SporTrak gone through any different screen itterations,
                                or was I just seeing the effect of the vinyl protective screen?
                                I was using sunlight coming straight through the stores front
                                windows because, a lot of color screens I had seen previously
                                didn't do that well in direct sunlight for some reason.

                                The 60C has great contrast but can be a little dim under 'dusk'
                                conditions especially if light is hitting it at a bad angle.

                                On the other hand, the battery life is so good that I have
                                no problem just using the backlight under these conditions.
                                (which really looks great you must admidt).

                                > The fix of the screen elevation bug is undoubtedly due to my
                                > complaints to Garmin. Likewise, I hope they also take my
                                suggestions
                                > to heart about the active track readability, and an option for time
                                > to first fix after a loss of sync.

                                Kudo's for getting Garmin to fix the elevation bug.

                                I am not as avid a backpacker as I once was, but have climbed Whitney
                                and covered about half to two thirds of the main Muir trail here in
                                california. I have done very little technical rock climbing, and will
                                probably do little to none in the future, so the ability of the unit
                                to bounce off of rocks isn't a big deal for me.

                                mostly I like to use the 60C for bicycling, and in the car for
                                trip navagation.

                                In an earlier post I believe you mentioned using PDA pen protectors
                                to protect the screen. My guess is that this is great for casual
                                abrasions, like putting the unit in your pack, but not too good for
                                when it hits by something a little larger and harder. I can't see
                                that the thin vinyl protective layer you discribe for the Magellan
                                would be much better overall than the PDA protector you use on the
                                60C. What I would really think you would want would be a wrap
                                arround protective shield made of 1/8 inch lexan polycarbonate.

                                A picture frame sizeed sheet of UV stablyzed 1/8 inch material would
                                only cost a couple bucks at your local home center. To make a custom
                                shield I would use a rasp and sandpaper to make up a wooden preform
                                that is a fairly good approximation of the upper screen and body
                                section of the 60C's shape.

                                Then you would cut about a 4x6 sheet of the polycarbonate plastic,
                                heat it up in a bath of boiling water and mold it around your wooden
                                form using leather work gloves (standard cautions here about working
                                with hot things). The plastic should not get molton and sticky, just
                                soft and plyable in boiling water because polycarbonate has a melting
                                point above 220 degress (and boiling water is only 212 max) so this
                                should work fine. If you wrap it across the front and down the sides
                                of your wooden preform, and then about a half inch around the back on
                                each side you should then be able to pop it off the wooden form after
                                cooling and pop it onto your GPS.

                                You could extend the protection down the sides and make a cutout in
                                the front for the keypad but I leave it to your judgement as to
                                whether this would be beyond your skills for the first attempt.

                                About 10 bucks would buy enough plastic to make a couple protective
                                shields. Lexan isn't very scratch resistant (but that's ok it can
                                be replaced right)? It is VERY tough (it's the same stuff that they
                                make plastic 'bullet proof' bank windows from) an 1/8 thick layer
                                of polycarbonate plastic would only be about 300 time more impact
                                resistant than the thinner plastic you are using now to protect
                                both units. As a plus, for backpacking it should weigh next to
                                nothing.

                                It would be really nice if Garmin would make up a commercial version
                                of the polycarbonate wrap around snap-on screen protector I just
                                described. < HINT < HINT < HINT.

                                It would also be nice if Color, Width and Dash-Pattern could be user
                                set for both Routes and Tracks, but let's not confuse people by
                                talking about this as if it made the WHOLE screen harder to read
                                somehow. What we are talking about here is a conscious design
                                decision Garmin made to keep the clutter down on the screen by
                                makine the track path very thin. This is a user interface issue
                                not a 'screen readability' issue.

                                No offense, but it sounds like you are saying, "I'm a real nut on
                                this 'track log' feature and those mean ole folks at Garmin just
                                aren't giving my favorite feature enough attention, and the track is
                                WAY too tiny, so I just leave the damn thing in my pack."

                                I personally think your critique of the thin tracks is valid, but
                                let's not confuse the issue of not being able to see one particular
                                feature that YOU consider important with overall screen readability.

                                I would agree that leaving your GPS in your pack makes it a little
                                hard to read. Ok I admidt it, I started it with my comment that any
                                elevation is about a thounsand percent more accurate than one you
                                have trouble seeing but, I have to admit it, you topped me.

                                I give up, you win.

                                Seriously, thanks for the effort at makeing some kind of objective
                                compairison of these two units, and thanks again for your efforts
                                to give feedback to improve these devices, but, (when you get the
                                time), since you have both units, how about taking the cover off the
                                Magellen (so their won't be any excuses) and positioning BOTH units
                                at an optimum face-on angle and snapping a couple of quick side by
                                side screen shots in full daylight.

                                This would give you a chance to show any differences in the user
                                interface that you consider relevant (like the thinner tracks).

                                Again, thanks for your efforts, facing these two competitors off side
                                by side against each other helps 'keep em honest' and can only lead
                                to better products from both.

                                Steve B.
                              • Harlan Stockman
                                ... wrote: [...] ... set ... The STP was on auto detailed, the 60c on Auto Normal with 10000 points maximum. These settings seem to do a good job. The
                                Message 15 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "cbottca" <cfraser@c...>
                                  wrote:
                                  [...]
                                  > Do you remember how you had your track log record method/interval
                                  set
                                  > up?

                                  The STP was on "auto detailed," the 60c on "Auto Normal" with 10000
                                  points maximum. These settings seem to do a good job. The STP can
                                  hold only 2000 points in the track log, but I've never exceeded ~1200
                                  points.

                                  > What the heck does "battery saver" actually do? I have so
                                  > many questions I can't even remember them all...

                                  There has been a fair amount of discussion in the USENET groups; Dale
                                  DePriest seems to offer the most detailed discussion. On Garmins,
                                  the sampling rate is lowered to about 1 in 5 seconds, WAAS is
                                  disabled, and I think the mask angle is changed. The method is
                                  adaptive, so if the GPS recognizes it isn't getting good fixes, the
                                  GPS spends more time sampling. Supposedly, the savings can be up to
                                  30% power, and is most likely to be recognized in open terrain -- say
                                  boating or country driving. In rough terrain, the savings is
                                  probably nil, and the track may be crappy.

                                  Here's a summary USENET post:
                                  -----------------------------------
                                  From: Dale DePriest (DaleDe@...)
                                  Subject: Re: Battery life (Re: Comparison on Garmin 60c and Magellan
                                  STP on two "hikes")
                                  View: Complete Thread (6 articles)
                                  Original Format
                                  Newsgroups: sci.geo.satellite-nav, alt.satellite.gps
                                  Date: 2004-01-30 13:40:50 PST


                                  H.W. Stockman wrote:
                                  > "Dale DePriest" <DaleDe@...> wrote in message
                                  > news:bvebro$a89$1@......
                                  >
                                  >>Garmin specs battery life with Alkalines, no backlight, and battery
                                  save
                                  >>mode in use. This is how they spec all their products.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > According to the manual, Battery life is "up to 30 hours (typical
                                  use)^4." Then
                                  > the ^4 footnote suggests using lithium batteries in cold weather.
                                  What is
                                  > "typical use?"
                                  >
                                  > The manual tells how one puts the unit in Battery Saver mode, but
                                  does not say
                                  > what that mode does. Is the sampling rate less frequent?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  It is a bit more complicated than that and is covered in detail in my
                                  user interface section of my online manual.

                                  basically it attempts to predict the next location and if successful
                                  then it assumes it will be able to continue to do this so it turns
                                  off
                                  reception for about 5 seconds. It turns on reception and if the
                                  prediction was ok then it turns it off again. If the speed or
                                  direction
                                  changes then it will take samples every second like always until the
                                  prediction works again. In addition the mask angle of the satellite
                                  reception is changed which usually results in tracking a few less
                                  satellites by removing the ones near the horizon. The power savings
                                  in
                                  open terrain is sometimes 30% or more. In more difficult conditions
                                  it
                                  may have trouble regaining a lock after being off for 5 seconds so
                                  the
                                  savings is not as much. Note that WAAS does not work in battery save
                                  mode.
                                • Harlan Stockman
                                  ... wrote: ... You would not believe the abuse my STP has taken, protected only by that case. I would never put the 60c through the same
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "sbrekkeus"
                                    <sbrekkeus@y...> wrote:
                                    [...] there is a lot in your post, but this comment caught me:

                                    > In an earlier post I believe you mentioned using PDA pen protectors
                                    > to protect the screen. My guess is that this is great for casual
                                    > abrasions, like putting the unit in your pack, but not too good for
                                    > when it hits by something a little larger and harder. I can't see
                                    > that the thin vinyl protective layer you discribe for the Magellan
                                    > would be much better overall than the PDA protector you use on the
                                    > 60C. What I would really think you would want would be a wrap
                                    > arround protective shield made of 1/8 inch lexan polycarbonate.

                                    You would not believe the abuse my STP has taken, protected only by
                                    that case. I would never put the 60c through the same abuse,
                                    protected only by a thin PDA film. The vinyl window on the STP case
                                    is thick and tough. There is no comparison between the vinyl window
                                    and a PDA protector, especially as the PDA protector provides no
                                    slippage for a first defense against screen damage.

                                    The STP has been pulled off my pack, by rocks and branches, at least
                                    5 times. Three times it fell at least 20 feet and actually
                                    bounced. The biggest scratch in the vinyl window was acquired when I
                                    jumped across a gap, and a stick caught the case directly on the
                                    window, ripped the GPS off, and sent it tumbling. Once, I forgot to
                                    put the STP in my pack while a climber above used a haul rope to move
                                    the pack up this chimney:
                                    http://hwstock.org/rp/html/DSCN2243.htm

                                    The haul rope was jerked up the chimney, the STP banged into the rock
                                    walls, was ripped off, and retrieved by another climber down below.

                                    On the other hand, the scratch on the 60c screen was obtained on the
                                    maiden voyage, with the GPS mounted high on my packstrap, by my neck
                                    (mounted as in:
                                    http://hwstock.org/gps/2/html/DSCN4973.htm )
                                    A desert "live oak" branch put the deep scratch in the 60c screen,
                                    when it was mounted by my neck; no rock was required. I turned the
                                    unit off and put it in my pack for the rest of that trip.


                                    > A picture frame sizeed sheet of UV stablyzed 1/8 inch material would
                                    > only cost a couple bucks at your local home center. To make a
                                    custom
                                    > shield I would use a rasp and sandpaper to make up a wooden preform
                                    > that is a fairly good approximation of the upper screen and body
                                    > section of the 60C's shape.
                                    >
                                    > Then you would cut about a 4x6 sheet of the polycarbonate plastic,
                                    > heat it up in a bath of boiling water and mold it around your wooden
                                    > form using leather work gloves (standard cautions here about working
                                    > with hot things). The plastic should not get molton and sticky,
                                    just
                                    > soft and plyable in boiling water because polycarbonate has a
                                    melting
                                    > point above 220 degress (and boiling water is only 212 max) so this
                                    > should work fine. If you wrap it across the front and down the
                                    sides
                                    > of your wooden preform, and then about a half inch around the back
                                    on
                                    > each side you should then be able to pop it off the wooden form
                                    after
                                    > cooling and pop it onto your GPS.
                                    >
                                    > You could extend the protection down the sides and make a cutout in
                                    > the front for the keypad but I leave it to your judgement as to
                                    > whether this would be beyond your skills for the first attempt.
                                    >
                                    > About 10 bucks would buy enough plastic to make a couple protective
                                    > shields. Lexan isn't very scratch resistant (but that's ok it can
                                    > be replaced right)? It is VERY tough (it's the same stuff that they
                                    > make plastic 'bullet proof' bank windows from) an 1/8 thick layer
                                    > of polycarbonate plastic would only be about 300 time more impact
                                    > resistant than the thinner plastic you are using now to protect
                                    > both units. As a plus, for backpacking it should weigh next to
                                    > nothing.

                                    That sounds like a fair amount of effort for something that is of
                                    unknown functionality. How would you attach this device? I'm not
                                    trying to protect the 60c from bullets; I'm just trying to protect
                                    the screen from scratches. Lexan (polycarbonate) is very scratch-
                                    susceptible, even though it is strong.
                                  • sbrekkeus
                                    Harlan, Thanks for the side by side pictures, not sure why you chose to show the Garmin with a lost satellite reception since that seems to create the
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                      Harlan,
                                      Thanks for the side by side pictures, not sure why you chose
                                      to show the Garmin with a 'lost satellite reception' since that
                                      seems to create the impression that the GPS is not reliable (:

                                      From what I've herd the Magellan is more willing to 'wing it'
                                      reporting data based upon it's last fix when it really can't
                                      see anything at all signal wise (not sure if I like that).

                                      I have to damn near drag my 60C into a bank vault to get this
                                      message. Ok that's a little bit of an exageration, but it only
                                      pops up ocaisionally in my apartment on the bottom floor of a
                                      two story wood building.

                                      Last night I took a one hour freeway trip, and didn't have the
                                      mounting bracket, so I left the 60C just setting on the empty
                                      seat beside me. It was tracking every time I picked it up
                                      (just from the random signals leaking through the windows)
                                      and, even when it was lying on the seat I never herd the tell
                                      tail tone indicating a loss of signal. Not once. Perhaps it
                                      chirped once and I missed it, in the road noise, but I don't
                                      think so, and, as I said, every time I picked it up to check
                                      my position it was tracking perfectly.

                                      Thanks for posting the pictures. I think one of the problems on
                                      my part was that you have the SporTrak Pro which I was confusing
                                      with the Color SporTrak which is a slightly different beast.

                                      I think that your pics do fairly show the incredibly crip image
                                      and snappy color you get with bright direct illumination, and
                                      how the screen quickly becomes a little darker than you would
                                      like under dim light.

                                      On the other hand my on freeway trip last night, I was using a very
                                      tired set of very old NiMH batteries with only about 1 bar showing on
                                      the battery meter. I had the backlight set to the 2 minute time out,
                                      checking my position almost every couple minutes anyway, so the
                                      backlight was on damn near all the time (not the smartest thing
                                      considering the low batteries).

                                      I am sorry to report that after suffering this abuse the unit did
                                      suck down the batteries a die on me on the return leg AS I WAS
                                      PULLING INTO MY APPARTMENTS PARKING LOT (having given me a polite
                                      warning about 2 miles earlier). The fix was perfect right up
                                      until shutdown.

                                      I can't tell you how impressed I was by this. There wasn't enough
                                      juice in those batteries when I started my trip for a decent shave
                                      and that little GPS ran for an hour with the backlight being used
                                      nearly the whole time.

                                      The point of this little anecdote is that I don't worry to much
                                      about the display needing help in dim light, because thats what
                                      the backlight is for and it works REALLY WELL.

                                      Thanks again for the pictures. Maybe someone has a link to some
                                      side by sides with the Color SporTrak so we can compair apples
                                      to apples.

                                      P. S.
                                      What I can't quite figure out is that, when I hit the 'send' button
                                      on my browser to send my last message, requesting some more side
                                      by side pictures, I noticed that you had already posted a message.

                                      When I opened the message you had posted, I found you had exactly
                                      responded to my request, and posted the pictures exactally as I had
                                      requested. The only problem is that you did it before I even posted
                                      my message.

                                      How do you do that?


                                      --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "Harlan Stockman"
                                      <hwstockman@y...> wrote:
                                      > --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "Harlan Stockman"
                                      > <hwstockman@y...> wrote:
                                      > > --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "sbrekkeus"
                                      > > <sbrekkeus@y...> wrote:
                                      > > > Very nice work, but I would caution against over interpreting
                                      the
                                      > > > results.
                                      > > [...]
                                      >
                                      > Here:
                                      >
                                      > http://hwstock.org/gps/scrn/
                                    • cbottca
                                      Thanks for you explanation of battery saver mode. That s the sort of technical description *I* want so I can decide the ramifications (pro and con) of any
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                        Thanks for you explanation of battery saver mode. That's the sort of
                                        technical description *I* want so I can decide the ramifications (pro
                                        and con) of any setup choice I make. Not to overly harp on it, but IMO
                                        Garmin is doing themselves and their customers a disservice by not
                                        properly explaining things. If they have all this fabulous tech, why
                                        not tell us about it? Re BS, I thought it might disable WAAS, but in
                                        that case it should really instantly change the WAAS option on the
                                        same page to disabled when BS is selected (IMO).

                                        It would be nice to know exactly how much averaging/sampling is done
                                        by the various track record options...manual is noticeably childish
                                        here...geez, this isn't a cell phone.

                                        From another thread: thanks for the "blue circle" explanation. I
                                        suspected it was as you said, but I couldn't figure out why the circle
                                        didn't change size as accuracy improved. It's still the same size
                                        (maybe 50m diameter), and I saved that waypoint when there was a "2m
                                        accuracy" (specifically then, because it's my home)...so I'm still a
                                        bit confused.

                                        Did you notice that the "D"'s don't go away if you disble WAAS after
                                        differential was established? I did, but I didn't investigate exactly
                                        the circumstances and for how long the D's would stay.
                                      • Harlan Stockman
                                        ... I treated the GPSs identically, and didn t have a lot of time to screw around with settings. I waited until they both got 3D sync when held vertically,
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                          --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "sbrekkeus"
                                          <sbrekkeus@y...> wrote:
                                          > Harlan,
                                          > Thanks for the side by side pictures, not sure why you chose
                                          > to show the Garmin with a 'lost satellite reception' since that
                                          > seems to create the impression that the GPS is not reliable (:

                                          I treated the GPSs identically, and didn't have a lot of time to
                                          screw around with settings. I waited until they both got 3D sync
                                          when held vertically, then I laid them down horizontally for the
                                          photo. Both units have helical antennae, so I would expect an
                                          eventual loss of signal. After being laid horizontal, the 60c almost
                                          immediately went to 2D mode, then lost sync within a minute.

                                          I get the 60c "signal lost" message a lot; but then I "hike" in areas
                                          that are atypical for the majority of GPS users.
                                        • sbrekkeus
                                          ... If the wooden form duplicated the shape of the GPSMAP60C s body then it could be used to create a snug rap-around shape like this: ###################
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            > That sounds like a fair amount of effort for something that is of
                                            > unknown functionality. How would you attach this device? I'm not
                                            > trying to protect the 60c from bullets; I'm just trying to protect
                                            > the screen from scratches. Lexan (polycarbonate) is very scratch-
                                            > susceptible, even though it is strong.

                                            If the wooden form duplicated the shape of the GPSMAP60C's body
                                            then it could be used to create a snug rap-around shape like this:

                                            ###################
                                            #<<<<60C SCREEN>>>>>#
                                            #GPSBODYGPSBODYGPSBODY#
                                            #GPSBODYGPSBODYGPSBODY#
                                            #PSBODYGPSBODYGPSBOD#
                                            ### ###


                                            This is a cross section looking down from the antenna, the ### signs
                                            represent how the plastic sheld would warp completly around the GPS
                                            units body and slightly around underneith to allow it to grip. In
                                            the vertical direction the protective screen would extend from the
                                            top of the screen, just below the antenna, to just above the keypad.
                                            You will notice some slight contouring of the 60C's body in both
                                            horozontal and the vertical planes which would let the plastic
                                            grip without sliding around on it's own, but it could still easily
                                            slid up out of the way for cleaning or to change batteries.

                                            The only bad news is this same contouring, makes the fabrication of
                                            a wooden form just a bit more challenging.

                                            Acrylic plastic is not as shatter proof but is much more scratch
                                            resistant than polycarbonate and is lower cost to boot, but I have
                                            to admidt that I would personally go with the polycarbonate and try
                                            to live with the scratches. Once you have a good wooden form, and
                                            some practice, the toughest part would be cutting out the starting
                                            rectangle of plastic to the correct deminsions and cleaning up the
                                            edges. Once this is done you could heat and form a new screen in
                                            about 10 minutes.

                                            I guess you have also probably thought of modifying some kind of
                                            commercial case, as well but if you are furustrated with this and
                                            feel that Garmin should offer a 'Tuf-Case' of some sort, I won't
                                            argue with you for a moment.

                                            Steve B.
                                          • sbrekkeus
                                            Sorry to reply to my own message, but if you are not reading this as email, my stupid little ASCII diagram got completly trashed by the even more stupid Yahoo
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Mar 2, 2004
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Sorry to reply to my own message, but if
                                              you are not reading this as email, my
                                              stupid little ASCII diagram got completly
                                              trashed by the even more stupid Yahoo WEB
                                              browser based editer/viewer which collapses
                                              spaces. Sorry I should have remembered.
                                              The version below has dots has place
                                              holders, it's still pretty lame,but at
                                              least you can see where I was going
                                              with it.

                                              Steve B.

                                              --- In GarminGPSMAP60C_60CS@yahoogroups.com, "sbrekkeus"
                                              <sbrekkeus@y...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > That sounds like a fair amount of effort for something that is of
                                              > > unknown functionality. How would you attach this device? I'm
                                              not
                                              > > trying to protect the 60c from bullets; I'm just trying to
                                              protect
                                              > > the screen from scratches. Lexan (polycarbonate) is very scratch-
                                              > > susceptible, even though it is strong.
                                              >
                                              > If the wooden form duplicated the shape of the GPSMAP60C's body
                                              > then it could be used to create a snug rap-around shape like this:
                                              >
                                              >.....###################
                                              >....#<<<<60C SCREEN>>>>>#
                                              >...#GPSBODYGPSBODYGPSBODY#
                                              >...#GPSBODYGPSBODYGPSBODY#
                                              >....#PSBODYGPSBODYGPSBOD#
                                              >.....###.............###
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > This is a cross section looking down from the antenna, the ### signs
                                              > represent how the plastic sheld would warp completly around the GPS
                                              > units body and slightly around underneith to allow it to grip. In
                                              > the vertical direction the protective screen would extend from the
                                              > top of the screen, just below the antenna, to just above the keypad.
                                              > You will notice some slight contouring of the 60C's body in both
                                              > horozontal and the vertical planes which would let the plastic
                                              > grip without sliding around on it's own, but it could still easily
                                              > slid up out of the way for cleaning or to change batteries.
                                              >
                                              > The only bad news is this same contouring, makes the fabrication of
                                              > a wooden form just a bit more challenging.
                                              >
                                              > Acrylic plastic is not as shatter proof but is much more scratch
                                              > resistant than polycarbonate and is lower cost to boot, but I have
                                              > to admidt that I would personally go with the polycarbonate and try
                                              > to live with the scratches. Once you have a good wooden form, and
                                              > some practice, the toughest part would be cutting out the starting
                                              > rectangle of plastic to the correct deminsions and cleaning up the
                                              > edges. Once this is done you could heat and form a new screen in
                                              > about 10 minutes.
                                              >
                                              > I guess you have also probably thought of modifying some kind of
                                              > commercial case, as well but if you are furustrated with this and
                                              > feel that Garmin should offer a 'Tuf-Case' of some sort, I won't
                                              > argue with you for a moment.
                                              >
                                              > Steve B.
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